“I love the works of William Shakespeare. I have only read two of his plays (Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth) and was blown away by both of them. It is impossible for me to convey in words the beauty of his writing.
I am also a big fan of Bill Bryson (for different reasons) and found this read informative, interesting and fun to read. Bryson is perfectly honest and open about the fact that very little is known for sure about Shakespeares life, in fact many stories stated as fact in other books are often only legends with no evidence whatsoever to back them up. Bryson did debunk some absolute nonsense that has been written about the Bard for the last few hundred years especially the ridiculous theories that Shakespeare didn't write his own plays.
I didn't find the lack of evidence frustrating, quite the opposite. I don't think a bit of mystery does Shakespeare any harm, in fact if anything it enhances his appeal. Too often when you find out a little too much about a great man or woman you realise they were only human like everyone else.
If you are interested in Shakespeare's life I cannot recommend reading this book highly enough. A brilliant effort”